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Turkish baklava, Wensleydale cheese and Santorini tomatoes gain EU protected status

By Caroline Scott-Thomas+

20-Dec-2013

For Santorini tomatoes, the variety must be grown in a very specific region to carry the name
For Santorini tomatoes, the variety must be grown in a very specific region to carry the name

The European Commission has granted protected status to three additional products – Santorini tomatoes, Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese and Turkish baklava.

Turkish baklava is the first Turkish product to receive the EU protected status, joining other non-EU products like Indian Darjeeling tea, Mexican Tequila and Blue Mountain coffee from Jamaica. The pastry, known as ‘Antep Baklavasi’ or ‘Gaziantep Baklavasi’ has been granted PGI (protected geographical indication) status.

According to the official journal of the European Union: “The most important raw material is Antep pistachio (Antep fıstığı), a registered agricultural product in Turkey. Its dense taste and aroma are preserved in the final product and it gives its dark green colour to the lower part of ‘Antep Baklavası’/‘Gaziantep Baklavası’.”

In addition, the UK’s Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese has also been granted PGI status, defined as “a pressed cheese with a creamy-white colour made from fresh raw or pasteurised cow’s milk in Wensleydale (North Yorkshire), which dates back to the settling of Cistercian monks in the area in the 11th and 12th centuries.”

Finally, the Greek Tomataki Santorinis – small tomatoes grown on “the volcanic soil and in the specific microclimate of several islands of the Cyclades in the South Aegean Region” – have been granted protected designation of origin (PDO) status, meaning that only this variety of tomatoes grown in this specific region will be allowed to be called Santorini tomatoes.

According to a report released earlier this year, the sales value of European foods and agricultural products protected under the EU’s geographical indication (GI) scheme hit €54.3bn in 2010. The premium pricing attached to foods with a GI status averages more than twice (2.23 times) those of similar non-GI products, the report found.

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